And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Baasha, sprung from an obscure tribe, hardly at any time distinguished in the history, and himself, as it would seem (1Kings 16:2), of low origin in it, is the first of the many military chiefs who by violence or assassination seized upon the throne of Israel. The constant succession of ephemeral dynasties stands in striking contrast with the unchanged royalty of the house of David, resting on the promise of God.
Gibbethon—a Levitical town in the territory of Dan (Joshua 19:44; Joshua 21:23), probably, like other places in that region, still held by the Philistines till their subjugation by David. The text here implies a revolt of the Philistines against the enfeebled power of Israel, and the occupation of Gibbethon, commanding a pass from the plain of Sharon to the interior. The siege must have been fruitless, at least of any permanent result; for twenty-six years after we find Gibbethon still in the hands of the enemy. (See 1Kings 16:15.)1 Kings 15:27-28. Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines — This was a city in the tribe of Dan, given to the Levites, (Joshua 19:44; Joshua 21:23,) who quitted it, as they did the rest of their cities, when Jeroboam would not suffer them to execute their office, 2 Chronicles 11:14; and the Philistines, it is likely, seized upon it, being adjoining to their country. But it appears, Nadab was now endeavouring to recover it out of their hands, as of right belonging to him; and here, in the midst of his army, did Baasha, with others, conspire against him, and kill him: and so little interest had he in the affections of his people, that his army not only did not avenge his death, but chose his murderer his successor. Whether Baasha did this upon a personal pique against Nadab, or to be revenged on the house of Jeroboam for some affront received from them; or whether under pretence of freeing his country from the tyranny of an ill prince; or whether purely from a principle of ambition, to make way for himself to the throne, doth not appear; but having slain him, he reigned in his stead.Genesis 49:14-15. Baasha probably owed his rise neither to his tribe nor to his social position, but simply to his audacity, and his known valor and skill as a soldier 1 Kings 16:2. Of the house of Issachar, i.e. of the tribe, which is oft called a house, as Judges 10:9 Psalm 135:20 Hosea 1:7. Which belonged to the Philistines; who, taking advantage of the division between Israel and Judah, had retaken this town, which belonged to the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:44, and belonged to the Levites, Joshua 21:23; upon whose departure to Judah, 2 Chronicles 11:14, the kings of Israel seized their towns and lands to their own use, as was noted before; which made them so much concerned for this town, to besiege it both now and many years after this time, 1 Kings 16:15.
conspired against him; laid a scheme to take away his life, and seize the kingdom:
and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon; a city in the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:44.
which belongeth to the Philistines; it was a city given to the Levites, Joshua 21:23 and they being driven from it by Jeroboam, the Philistines seized on it, or had heretofore made a conquest of it; and Nadab was desirous of getting it out of their hands, and therefore besieged it, as follows:
for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon; and while he was besieging it, Baasha took the opportunity to slay him, where his carcass lay exposed to dogs, or fowls of the air, and had no burial, as Ahijah predicted, 1 Kings 14:11.And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. of the house of Issachar] Jeroboam’s family was of the tribe of Ephraim (1 Kings 11:26), and it may have been some tribal jealousy which led a man of Issachar to exterminate the whole family of Jeroboam, and to found a new dynasty. From the message of the prophet Jehu to Baasha (1 Kings 14:1-2) it would appear as if Baasha’s attempt had been sanctioned by some divine message. But none the more did Baasha improve upon the conduct of the two kings of the previous house.
at Gibbethon, which belongeth [R.V. belonged] to the Philistines] Scrivener’s edition of 1611 reads belongeth. This was a town allotted originally to the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:44), and was given as a Levitical city to the Kohathites (Joshua 21:23), but it had been by this time taken by the Philistines, and Nadab was endeavouring to drive them out. The verb belongeth is only indicated by the preposition which is prefixed to the word Philistines, and we need not understand more by it than occupation such as conquerors take.
all Israel laid siege] R.V. were laying siege. The work was still in progress, and was not completed even in Baasha’s reign. Cf. 1 Kings 16:15.Verse 27. - And Baasha the son of Ahijah [not the prophet of that name (ch. 14:2), who was an Ephraimite, whereas this Ahijah was], of the house of Issachar [This fact is perhaps mentioned to distinguish the father of Baasha from the prophet. Or it may owe its insertion to the insignificance of this tribe (Genesis 49:14, 15) up to this date. This change of dynasty, unlike the last, was in no way connected with tribal jealousies. Baasha owed his elevation to his own abilities or to his unscrupulous daring], conspired [The word implies associates. There was a plot formed fur Nadab's assassination] against him: and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon [ = eminence. In the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:44) and a Levitical city: one of the four assigned to the Levites in the territory of that tribe (ib., 21:23). It has not been identified. Evidently it was on the border of Philistia. Some would connect it with the modern Mejdel, a little to the north of Ascalon. The reader will observe how large a number of the names of towns indicate their elevation. The cities of those days were set on a hill. It was dangerous to build in the plain], which belonged to the Philistines [Blunt suggests ("Coincidences," p. 181) that it was because the place had been deserted by the Levites, in the general exodus to Judah, that the Philistines availed themselves of the opportunity to seize and fortify it. But the divided and consequently weakened state of the kingdom would of itself have encouraged them to throw off the yoke of Israel (Ewald)]; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon. 1 Kings 14:17).
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